Disclaimer: I don't own Charmed or Drew Fuller...
Author's Note: This is a one shot fic. Just another way Piper and Chris could have resolved their issues if Grampa hadn't been around to smooth things through.
"Are you sure nothing's wrong?" she asked him gently, pausing in her dusting of the living room. Glancing at him worriedly.
You died today...
The words materialized in his mind instantly as he looked into her brown eyes.
He couldn't say them.
Truth was, he didn't want to think them.
But he couldn't stop himself.
Morning had come to the Hallowell Manor with a demon shimmering into Wyatt's nursery. It had been suicide.
But while the attention had been in there vanquishing it and then comforting Wyatt. Another demon had shimmered up to the attic.
That demon had gotten away. So jobs and duties had been put on hold, Chris had been summoned and they'd retreated to the attic to scry for it.
That had been hours ago. The demon had been found, his ass vanquished, and Paige and Phoebe had headed to work.
Piper had asked Chris to stay and help her with something, she was trying to put order back into this house she'd stated.
It had to be ready for when... for when he was born, she'd said sheepishly.
He knew it was an excuse to get close to him. He'd been keeping her arm's length.
It was safer that way.
It hurt less.
She was having none of it though, and kept trying to spend time with him, to get to know him, to be his mom.
She was only five months along, just beginning to show, but already she wanted thing to be spotless and organized.
She'd put him to work packing things in boxes and moving them to the basement. He'd done it... silently.
Answering her many attempts at conversation with monosyllabic words. And attempting to leave the minute he was done.
Stay with me until Paige gets home, she'd said. And how was he supposed to say no, to his mother when he was actually, at the moment, inside her womb.
So he'd stayed.
She'd asked him more than once if he was okay.
He kept telling her he was.
He hadn't wanted to see her today; to see any of them.
"Chris, you can tell me..." she continued softly, taking a step closer to him. Her gaze concerned as she studied his features.
He was sitting on the sofa, had been for the last twenty minutes, watching as she moved all around the room. Nodding and grunting to her comments, the television humming in the background.
He shook his head, swallowing the lump in his throat.
He couldn't tell her.
Tears filled his eyes as the thought came again.
You died today
"Oh honey, what is it?" Piper said, her heart breaking as she saw his tears. She sat on the coffee table directly across from him.
Again he shook his head, not looking at her, "I can't," he said his voice thick with tears as the memory of her limp, bloodied body flashed in his mind.
It had seemed like a nightmare.
It had been worse.
It had been reality.
She'd died and with her gone, everything that had stabilized his world had fled too.
Nothing had been certain. He and his cousins had been shipped off to magic school. His dad had visited less and less. Wyatt had spiraled more and more out of control.
And there was no one left to do anything.
The only ones who could were gone.
The Charmed Ones had left behind a new generation of magic. Powerful beyond belief, but controllable only by them.
With them gone, everything went to hell --literally.
"If you tell me what's wrong, honey, I'll do my best to fix it," Piper continued, completely unaware that the more she spoke, the more she cared, the more she looked at him with loving concerned eyes, the worse he felt.
He reached out slowly and touched her face.
It wasn't his mom.
The skin was firmer, the eyes brighter, the hair longer...
... but it was close...
The closest he'd seen in seven years.
"Mom," he'd never called her that. It came out now -- a sob -- and it was all the encouragement Piper needed.
She pulled him into her arms. Holding him close.
He buried his face in her shoulder, clinging to her like a little boy.
Everything was so wrong, had been wrong for so long...
This had been the only hope... the only thing that had a chance of working...
He'd planned for it, trained for it, organized for it in a way that would have made his Charmed Ones proud.
He'd been ready.
When he'd stepped through that portal, he'd been confident nothing could shake him, nothing could break him.
He'd been wrong.
Looking into three pairs of eyes that had always adored him and seeing nothing but coldness, wariness, and blatant distrust, hurt.
It hurt a lot.
Leo he could handle, but...
Paige... his confident...
Phoebe... his staunches supporter...
Piper... his mom...
...that he couldn't handle...
He hadn't planned, trained, or organized enough.
He pulled back suddenly, "I can't... I have to go... I can't..." he was trying to get away.
He needed to get away.
Standing he moved away from her, getting ready to orb.
"Chris..." she said softly, standing also, her soft voice stopping him in his tracks.
He wanted to leave, but couldn't. He couldn't move.
She walked over to him looking deeply into his eyes, searching his gaze.
And he could do nothing to hide the pain from her -- it was too raw to be hidden.
Every hurt he'd felt since coming here shined in his eyes, darkening them, shuttering the beautiful green he'd inherited from his father.
"My baby boy," she said softly, reaching up to tenderly touch the side of his face with her hand.
He jerked away, a bolt of pain slicing through him, a strangled sob erupting from his chest.
She'd done that...
...right before she'd died...
Looked at him with eyes full of love, of faith, of pride....
....right before going limp in his arms...
He knew Piper wanted him to open up to her, to talk to her, to trust her....
...but it hurt so much... even when she was at arms length... the thought of getting close to her... of remembering her...
...and then going back to a future without her...
... it tore him apart inside...
"I want to help you Chris," she whispered, "I can see I'm not the best mother, but - "
"What!?!" he exclaimed whirling around suddenly.
What's she talking about...
"I know that's why you're avoiding me, why you don't want to get near me, but if you give me a chance I'm - "
"That's not true," he croaked out.
She stared at him a moment, taking in his horrified expression, "I'm not a bad a mother?" she asked.
"No," he whispered, turning around again.
Wishing he could tell her about the chocolate chip pancakes on Saturday mornings, the forts under the dining room table, about the birthday present scavenger hunts.
Wishing he could tell her how amazing she'd been...
She turned with him this time.
And she saw it then. It was as clear as day, evident in every tearstain on his face...
The pain of losing a mother.
She recognized it, knew it, had felt it once. Now, she saw it in her own child's face.
"Oh," the word escaped her on a gasp, "Oh no," she continued, her hand rising to her mouth, "Oh Chris I'm so sorry," she whispered finally.
A bitter smirk touched his lips as he shook his head.
He wasn't going to say anything.
He didn't have to.
It was written all over his face.
Piper took his hand in her own, "I can't change what happened," she shrugged, "I may not even be able to change what's going to happen, all I can do is control right now. And right now, we have a chance. A chance I can see was taken away from us. We have a chance to know each other... I don't want to throw that away Chris. It's too precious, I don't want to toss it aside."
The tears came again as her words filtered through the pain. He tightened his hold on her hand, "Me either," he whispered.
She smiled, tears in her eyes too.
She pulled him into another embrace, this time though, she clung to him just as tightly as he to her.
He inhaled her scent as he let the tears fall.
Not yet....the thought formulated slowly, ...not yet...
And brought with it a hint of hope....
It hasn't happened yet...